Regarding bicycle tax and road rudeness

Careless road users can cause problems, and it is difficult to enforce laws that relate to non-motorists.  Enforcement of non-motorist offenses is rare; [better] enforcement … might make licensing unnecessary. … Licensing without enforcement will not change anything.

Typically, privileges and rights are defined by the presence or lack of license. Cycling is currently treated as a right, motoring a privilege. The reasons for this basically boil down to one philosophy: Safety is more important than convenience, and convenience adds mass and speed (increased risk to others' safety). Users who exercise a right when using the road should be able to do so safely, even if it is inconvenient for those choosing privilege.  I happen to choose cycling for more than 90 percent of my miles.

There has been a lot more than enough road for cyclists for decades. Bike lanes offer more convenience to cars than they do safety to cyclists; planners increasingly call for wider lanes instead. Motorists who advocate adding bike lanes probably want to increase motorists' convenience, as there are enough laws already (if followed) to provide safety for cyclists with no safety risk to others.

Regarding use tax, how long would it take for bicycles to wear out a road?

I recommend an occasional review of the N.C. Driver's Handbook; it contains a few surprises. N.C. law regarding vehicles passing others specifies changing lanes and does not permit exception when passing cyclists.  The vehicle operator must tap the horn before passing. The operator being passed must keep as far to right as practicable after being alerted by horn. Motorists rarely comply with these requirements when passing. The other fundamental requirements for passing (numerous) are routinely ignored when passing cyclists. It is recommended ("should," not "must") by the D.O.T. that cyclists keep as far right as practicable, leaving room for obstacles and events (debris, parked-car-doors opening, animals) to avoid making sudden maneuvers. In practice, cyclists facilitate improper passes nearly 100 percent of the time, enduring frequent harassment. I'm not asking for true patience or strict compliance to law. Neighbors should eschew rudeness, it never helps.

I am not opposed to bicycle licensing. Unfortunately, licensing has little to do with knowing the rules of the road. I wish that it would result in positive results for the savvy cyclists (no careless, rude or ignorant cyclists to supply a bad reputation).

But licensing hasn't worked that way for motorists!

— David Tindall
Candler

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